Blog » What is the Health Information Exchange?

What is the Health Information Exchange?

Created Feb 04 2016, 07:00 PM by Lippincott Solutions
  • Care transitions
  • Meaningful Use
  • health information organization
  • EHR
  • Electronic health record
  • health information exchange

Friday, February 5, 2016
What is the Health Information Exchange?

By now most, if not all, nurses are accustomed to electronic health records and other computer-based systems for tracking patients' progress. Taking it a step further, Health Information Exchanges (HIE) refer to the real-time exchange of information that allows doctors, nurses, pharmacists, other health care providers to appropriately access and securely share a patient’s vital medical information electronically—improving the speed, quality, safety and cost of patient care.

Health Information Organizations (HIO) are facilities that make possible information exchange between many different providers. Most members both contribute and receive information. HIO members benefit from economies of scale, shared services, and uniform participation agreements that simplify information exchange rather than each making such investments separately.

Sharing Information

As health information technology and the HIE landscape continue to evolve, HIE provides the capability to electronically move clinical information among different systems and maintain the meaning of the information being exchanged. The goal of HIE is to facilitate access to and retrieval of clinical data to provide safe, more timely, efficient, effective, equitable, patient-centered care.

When used as a verb, HIE means the action of sharing data between any two or more organizations. As a noun, HIE can refer to an organization, such as a quality information agency or a private/enterprise information exchange.

Or in other instances, HIE may also be referring to an HIO. An HIO is an overarching organization that governs the exchange of health related information among multiple health delivery organizations according to nationally recognized standards. The purpose of an HIO is to perform oversight and governance functions for multiple HIE entities.                  

Advantages of Health Information Exchange

HIE provides many essential benefits for nurses, patients, and hospitals, including:

• enhancing care coordination through communication between providers

• ensuring access to the right information, at the right time, for providers, patients, and all other stakeholders

• improving efficiency and reliability through the elimination of unnecessary paperwork and providing caregivers with clinical decision support tools

• improving quality and safety through the reduction of medication/medical errors, sentinel events, and near misses.


What are your thoughts about the effectiveness of HIE’s with providing clinical care?  Are they helping your organization achieve ANCC Magnet accreditation by fulfilling Meaningful Use objectives?  Leave us a comment below! 

For more information on how Lippincott Solutions supports EMR-based patient care, click HERE